League title on the line for both Rifle, Glenwood | PostIndependent.com
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League title on the line for both Rifle, Glenwood

Jon Mitchell
jmitchell@postindependent.com

Things in the Class 3A Western Slope League football standings are still all tied up.

For now, anyway.

Last week’s victories by Glenwood Springs (5-3, 4-1 3A WSL), Rifle (7-1, 4-1) and Palisade (6-2, 4-1) kept things in a three-way tie atop the standings. There would have been a four-way tie had it not been for a surprise 18-7 victory by Eagle Valley (6-2, 3-2) over Delta (5-3, 3-2) this past Friday night.



That’s where this week comes in. Locally, the big game comes Friday night when the Glenwood Demons host the Rifle Bears at Stubler Memorial Field, with kickoff slated for 7 p.m. The other big game on tap will be when Palisade plays at Eagle Valley on Friday.

The game that’ll be played in Garfield County will obviously draw the most attention, though. And the current standings bring up some interesting tiebreaking possibilities.



For example, a victory by Rifle and Palisade on Friday would keep the Bulldogs and Bears tied atop the league standings, but the Bulldogs would earn the WSL’s automatic berth in the 3A state playoffs since they beat the Bears 18-10 on Oct. 10. That, of course, would also be dependent on Palisade also beating Delta and Rifle beating Summit (1-7, 0-5) in their respective season finales.

A win for Rifle on Friday could also potentially knock the Demons out of the playoff picture entirely.

Monday’s most recent Class 3A wildcard points standings released by the Colorado High School Activities Association ranked Rifle seventh, Eagle Valley and Palisade Nos. 11 and 12, Delta No. 14 and Glenwood Springs No. 15. The top 16 teams in the wildcard point standings reach the 3A playoffs, and a win by Rifle over Glenwood could knock the Demons below that threshold.

For Glenwood, however, a win would not only boost the Demons in the point standings, but it would give them the upper hand in winning the league championship since the Demons defeated Palisade 17-10 on Sept. 26. So basically, a win by Glenwood on Friday, coupled with a win by the Demons at Steamboat Springs (3-5, 1-4) on Oct. 31, would give the Demons the automatic berth and at least a share of the league title, depending on how Palisade fares down the stretch.

Rifle defeated Glenwood Springs last season, 13-7, at Stubler. The last time the Demons defeated the Bears was a 20-19 victory in 2010 in the regular-season finale — the last season the Demons reached the state title game. It was also the last time the Rifle missed the playoffs.

ALL HANDS ON DECK

Glenwood, which played big even though it was shorthanded in its 29-7 win against Summit this past Friday, was practicing short handed Monday since its junior varsity team was playing its game at Summit. Two of Glenwood’s impact players practiced at full speed after missing time against the Tigers.

Senior receiver and running back Evrett Marr, who was used sparingly against the Tigers because of a shoulder injury, practiced with the Demons’ first-team offense and defense Monday. Also practicing with the first-team offense was sophomore quarterback Dante Sparaco, who didn’t suit up against Summit.

Glenwood coach Rocky Whitworth stated that it was an “internal decision by the coaching staff to hold him out” for the Summit game. He declined to elaborate any further.

Sparaco was replaced by sophomore Jake Townsley, who finished 5-of-16 passing for 41 yards and a pair of interceptions. That’s where running back Luke Prosence stepped up, as the senior rushed for 244 yards and each of Glenwood’s four touchdowns.

Marr has an outside chance to surpass 1,000 yards in two statistical categories this season in rushing and receiving yardage. Sparaco has already surpassed 1,000 passing yards and is within 300 yards of rushing for 1,000 yards, also.

PLAYOFF SOCCER START TIMES ANNOUNCED

The start times for the Class 3A boys soccer state playoffs for Roaring Fork and Coal Ridge high schools have been announced.

Roaring Fork (13-2-0), this year’s winner of the 3A Western Slope League, will host first-round games early Friday afternoon at Carbondale Middle School. The Rams, who earned the third seed in the 32-team bracket, will play No. 30 seed Roosevelt at 2:30 p.m. Friday. That’ll come after a matchup between No. 14 Pagosa Springs and No. 19 Peak to Peak, which will be at 12:30 p.m. Friday.

Winners of Friday’s games will play in the second round at 1 p.m. Saturday, also at Carbondale Middle School.

Coal Ridge (12-3-0), the No. 9 seed in the bracket, will play No. 24 Sterling at 1 p.m. Friday at Denver School of Science and Technology. The winner plays either No. 8 DSST or No. 25 St. Mary’s at 11 a.m. Saturday.


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